Making spirits bright: How 5 Colorado tech companies give back during the holidays

by April Bohnert
November 29, 2018

The holidays are a time of gratitude and giving — and not just for individuals. For many companies in Colorado tech, the communities in which they work are also those in which their employees live. The holiday season is an opportunity for teams to celebrate the year’s wins by taking time away from their day-to-day duties to help those in need and show those communities a little extra love.

We talked to five such local tech companies to learn more about their holiday charity initiatives and how they keep that spirit of giving alive all year long.

 

SpotX holiday charitable giving Colorado tech
Photo via SpotX.

SpotX delivers a video advertising platform for online publishers, media owners and advertisers that enables them to buy, sell and analyze digital ads. Director of Global Client Education Nick Hoffman explained how SpotX’s culture of giving has evolved over the years.  

 

How does your company give back during the holidays?

Each year during the holidays, we organize a way SpotXers can help give back to local kids in need. Over the past three years, SpotXers have brought in STEM-related toys for low-income families in the area. As a technology company, we’ve seen the growing importance of STEM in Colorado and want to empower the next generation of innovators with toys that encourage critical thinking skills and science literacy.

This year, SpotX HQ has joined together to gather basic supplies for local Boulder Valley teens in need. Approximately 26,000 young adults age out of the foster care system each year, and many of them need help gathering basic supplies before they move. We’re collecting necessary items to create “Holiday Housewarming Baskets” filled with household items such as toiletries, cleaning supplies, blankets, etc. We’ve already almost doubled our goal of the number of baskets we wanted to make this year.

 

Why is giving back important to you as a business?

At SpotX, we are family. We care about our employees, customers and global community at large, and giving back to the community helps give our team a greater sense of purpose beyond their day-to-day tasks.

As a large company, we recognize that finding a cause to support can bring employees closer together and help them connect with one another outside of the office walls. Volunteering is also a powerful way for coworkers to find common interests and build relationships by working together to make a difference in the lives of others.

 

Finding a cause to support can bring employees closer together and help them connect with one another outside of the office walls.” 

How else do you give back to the community throughout the year?

SpotX For Change is the company’s community engagement program, which officially launched in 2015 as a way to formalize our culture of giving back. Each quarter, SpotX For Change organizes a volunteer event with a local nonprofit. We want to provide ways for SpotXers to learn about the charitable organizations in our community, and also provide them with the time to volunteer.

In addition to sponsoring volunteer opportunities for employees, SpotX for Change includes a gift matching program that matches 100 percent of the financial donations our employees make each year (up to $250 per employee), expanding our impact across the globe to all of the organizations that SpotXers are involved with and passionate about.

During our first year, SpotXers alone donated over $17,000 to 87 different organizations, making our total impact almost $35,000 including the SpotX match. We love seeing how generous and excited our employees are to give back to our communities.

 

NetApp holiday charitable giving Colorado tech
Photo via NetApp.

NetApp helps global organizations unleash the power of their data by streamlining the implementation and management of hybrid cloud data services. But while their heads may be in the cloud, their feet are planted firmly on the ground, volunteering with a number of local organizations. Senior Manager of Global Community Impact Michelle Mann shed some light on those initiatives and why they matter so much to the team.

 

How does your company give back during the holidays?

Our holiday service program kicks off with Wreaths Across America on December 15. Employees and their families will be placing wreaths at the graves of fallen service men and women at the Olinger Highland Cemetery in nearby Thornton.

Throughout the holiday season, employees will also participate in food and gift drives that demonstrate our team’s compassion and commitment to making the Boulder area a great place to live as well as work.

 

Employees participate in food and gift drives that demonstrate our team’s compassion and commitment to making the Boulder area a great place to live as well as work.”

Why is giving back important to you as a business?

The success of a business is now measured by its impact on people, communities and the environment. Our success is driven by economic results as well as our behaviors. For over 25 years, we have contributed to the communities where we operate and empower our employees to make a difference. Giving back engages employees, builds strong bonds and demonstrates why NetApp is a great place to work.

 

How else do you give back to the community throughout the year?

Employees at NetApp’s Boulder office volunteer with various organizations year-round to be of service to those in need. Organizations such as There With Care, the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Emergency Family Assistance Association, Attention Homes and Community Food Share have all benefited from NetApp volunteers.

 

FRONTSTEPS holiday charitable giving Colorado tech
Photo via FRONTSTEPS.

FRONTSTEPS supports HOAs, builders, realtors and residential community managers with a SaaS platform designed to connect communities and help them manage day-to-day operations. Senior Accountant Sarah McDonald explained how the company’s commitment to the community extends beyond its tech platform and into the lives of those in need.

 

How does your company give back during the holidays?

FRONTSTEPS adopts a family in need in the Denver area and we help fill their tree with gifts for every family member. Last year was the first time we adopted a family, and our team members enjoyed this experience so much that we plan to make this a yearly tradition moving forward.

 

Why is giving back important to you as a business?

We are all extremely thankful for everything we have, especially during this time of the year. However, we know not everyone in the metro area is so lucky. Being a community-focused business, we understand the power of community and are driven to give back to the community we love so much — especially to those in it who do not have a home to go back to.

 

Being a community-focused business, we understand the power of community and are driven to give back to the community we love so much.”

How else do you give back to the community throughout the year?

Earlier this year, we started a partnership with local nonprofit A Stronger Cord. In the summer, our team members kicked off the partnership by joining a community workout at Phoenix Multisport. We’re anxiously looking forward to our next scheduled workout in early December.

Our office has also been collecting donations throughout the year that we plan to donate to Colorado Coalition for the Homeless at the end of the year. We are always looking for ways to give back. From Stronger Cord workouts to ordering all office supplies and snacks through AmazonSmile — which contributes to Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver — we are dedicated to doing what we can to positively impact the lives of those in our community.

 

Personal Capital holiday charitable giving Colorado tech
Photo via Personal Capital.

Personal Capital combines intuitive tech tools with personalized financial planning and wealth management to help people manage their money and plan for the future. Senior Recruiter Will Hewitt gave us a glimpse into the holiday giving traditions — and other year-round efforts — that make an impact in Denver and beyond.

 

How does your company give back during the holidays?

Every December, our office comes together to collect and donate toys to families in need. We’ve done this ever since opening the office in Denver in 2013. In addition, this holiday season, Personal Capital will be making a donation to the American Red Cross on behalf of our clients.

 

Why is giving back important to you as a business?

Being charitable and making a difference in our community is not only a priority for our employees but also reflected in Personal Capital’s corporate values.

 

Being charitable and making a difference in our community is not only a priority for our employees but also reflected in Personal Capital’s corporate values.”

How else do you give back to the community throughout the year?

Our Charitable Giving Committee selects causes and charities to donate to. Each employee has the opportunity to submit an application to receive a donation to an event or organization that means something to them. Most recently we donated this budget to assist those that have been impacted by the devastating California wildfires.

We also partake in a variety of volunteer opportunities. One of our initiatives was visiting Children’s Hospital to create arts and crafts with the patients and siblings of patients at the hospital.

 

SambaSafety holiday charitable giving Colorado tech
Photo via SambaSafety.

SambaSafety’s driver risk management solutions help companies keep employees safe and protect their organizations by giving them insight into driver behaviors both on and off the clock. Talent Acquisition Manager Alicia Molina shared how her team gives back all year long.

 

How does your company give back during the holidays?

For the holidays this year, we are doing a coat drive, toy drive and volunteering at local shelters to help provide meals.

 

Why is giving back important to you as a business?

Our mission at SambaSafety is “Better drivers, lower risk, safer communities.” Whether it is monitoring driver safety or helping our fellow neighbors in need, SambaSafety strives to go above and beyond to positively impact our community.

 

Our culture is all about a flexible work-life balance, and we want our employees to feel empowered to make a difference.” 

How else do you give back to the community throughout the year?

SambaSafety is actively involved in various volunteer and charity events throughout the year, not just the holidays. Our culture is all about a flexible work-life balance, and we want our employees to feel empowered to make a difference. Each employee has an allotted amount of volunteer days annually, and we also host company-sponsored volunteer events. Some of our events this year included park clean ups and a shoe drive in which we competed with other companies in our office building and won!

 

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